Port Canaveral gets first TSA team of K9 detectives

Port Canaveral is going to the dogs.

Port Canaveral will be the first cruise ship port in America using not one but two dedicated K9 explosive detection teams, part of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration.

K9 team patrol the Port Jefferson train station in Long Island
K9 team patrol the Port Jefferson train station in Long Island. Photo credit: Port Jefferson

While similar canine teams already patrol air terminals, Amtrak train stations and mass-transit systems, this is the first time the highly trained dogs and their handlers will be stationed at a cruise ship port.

The TSA’s National Explosives Detection Canine Team Program matches dogs with a handlers and as a team, they undergo a rigorous 10-week training course at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas before being deployed around the world.

In yet another first, the Port Canaveral K9 teams will work in conjunction with a newly deployed team at the Orlando-Sanford International Airport, which is located about one-half hour from Orlando International Airport.  The port-airport connection is the first of its kind in the nation, the TSA said.  Both teams will be handled by the Port Canaveral police and the Sanford police.

Aerial view of Port Canaveral
Aerial view of Port Canaveral. Photo credit: Port Canaveral

Port Canaveral is Florida’s third busiest port, following Miami and Ft. Lauderdale.  Approximately 70 percent of the revenue is generated from the cruise business.

After September 11, the Canaveral Port Authority formed its own police force in 2009.  None of the other Florida ports have their own police force, however, the Jacksonville Port Authority is following Port Canaveral’s lead and planning to add their own police force to Jacksonville’s port.

Headline photo: US Marshals Service

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